We begin this edition of On the Move with some ups and downs in the energy storage sector.
Mark Triplett has left Green Charge Networks as COO to join Stem as COO. Along with Triplett, Alan Russo is now the SVP of global sales for Stem. The executive additions come just a few months after Stem landed $80 million in an oversubscribed Series D, including investment from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension fund. Stem says it has a portfolio of more than 200 megawatt-hours of behind-the-meter energy storage and is commissioning a new system every two days.
Green Charge Networks, now Engie Storage, has named Christopher Tilley as CEO. Vic Shao will remain as the company’s chairman. Tilley comes to Engie Storage from Alta Energy, where he spent the last year; he was at SunLink for the better part of a decade before that. Engie continues to grow its storage portfolio and recently agreed to acquire a majority stake in Electro Power Systems, a French-based energy storage and microgrid company with projects across the globe.
On the other end of the energy storage startup spectrum, zinc redox flow battery maker ViZn Energy Systems laid off all but two of its 70-person team after the lead investor pulled out of its latest funding round.
Jeff Walker Martin will become Sempra’s next CEO, taking over for Debra Reed, who stepped down in March. Joseph Householder will take over as president for the company, which now has more than 40 million electric and gas customers. Reed stepped down shortly after Sempra acquired Energy Future Holdings, which owns Oncor, for nearly $10 billion.
In other utility executive news, embattled and bankrupt Puerto Rican power authority PREPA has a new CEO, Walter Higgins. He will take the helm as PREPA moves toward privatization and slowly rebuilds the island’s power grid after Hurricane Maria.
Over on another island, Hawaii’s governor has nominated Jennifer Potter to the state’s public utility commission, according to Big Island Now. Potter is currently an assistant specialist with the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and was previously at Berkeley Lab.
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Solar thermal power company GlassPoint has brought on Steven Moss as CEO. He’ll be in charge of expanding GlassPoint’s global business, especially into the Middle East. He was most recently CEO of GE’s global renewable steam plant business. GlassPoint is part of one of California’s largest solar projects, a 26.5-megawatt photovoltaic array alongside 850 megawatts of thermal solar collectors for steam generation atop an oil field.
Renewable asset monitoring software company Power Factors has promoted Matthew Brocklehurst to CTO. Before joining Power Factors, Brocklehurst was a senior director at SunEdison, where he managed technology for the global asset management business unit.
Jim Robb will become the president and CEO of North American Electric Reliability Corporation this month after spending the last four years as CEO of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.
Hannah Hunt has been promoted to deputy director of electricity policy and demand at the American Wind Energy Association, where she has been for the past five years.
Strategic advisory firm David Gardiner and Associates has hired James Hewett as VP of renewable energy. Hewett was previously at the American Council on Renewable Energy, where he held a variety of positions over the years.
Solar EPC firm Blue Oak Energy has promoted longtime employee Danny Lee to the role of SVP. Blue Oak is a subsidiary of independent power producer Coronal Energy, which recently added Tom Gebhardt, CEO of Panasonic, to its board of directors. Panasonic Eco Solutions has been a longtime partner of Coronal Group.
Daniel Yates, co-founder of Opower, has joined residential geothermal startup Dandelion as an executive board member and was an investor in its recent $4.5 million round.